Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
Power, politics and science
We rely on experts in every field. Yet from economists to climate scientists they hold wildly disparate views. Might the very idea of objective knowledge be illusory and expertise be a form of institutional power? If we were more sceptical would it lead to democracy or bring chaos?
The Call of Silence
The route to understanding
From Cicero to Clinton, Shakespeare to Twitter, eloquence is power. But for some philosophers silence rather than speech is the means to approach the deepest puzzles. Might silence be the route to understanding and a better world? Or is this the reserve of saints, fools and madmen?
Beyond Truth and Falsehood
What is real?
For a century, logicians have argued that things are either true or false. Yet truth for one person can be a falsehood for another. Is it possible that truth is not about the nature of reality at all but describes what we think about what we say? Would such a heresy undermine meaning itself or liberate us to think afresh?
Rationality and Drugs
David Nutt was fired by the Home Secretary for comparing the harms of ecstasy and horse-riding. Hear his case for a rational, evidence-based approach to drug policy. “He took personal risk to his reputation in the name of sound science” Colin Blakemore
Myths About Feminism
The Chemistry of Freedom
Is free will an illusion?
The cry of democrats and revolutionaries, we value freedom above almost anything. But neuroscientists claim they can predict decisions seven seconds before we act. Might free will be an illusion? Do we need to reimagine what it means to be human, or does freedom win over bad science?
The Banality of Evil
Nature versus nurture
We tend to believe in evil acts, but not evil people. But can we separate a person's actions from their nature? Would believing that some people are born evil help us to understand human nature, or is this a dangerous heresy that would eradicate freedom and responsibility?